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Would you die for others?
Posted: 15 March 2011 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Only a few weeks ago I watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where Spock, after restoring power to the warp drive, dies of radiation poisoning. It had a strong impact on me (only that part, I didn’t really like the rest of the movie) just like K-19: The Widowmaker with Harrison Ford did. Maybe it’s the result of being told as a kid over and over that we would all probably die in a nuclear war; in order to make us love the Soviet Union and hate the U.S. they used to scare the hell out of us. I always thought that Reagan was the devil himself until I grew up and learned English only to find out (to my surprise!) that he sounded more like a jolly grandfather than an evil American who wished us all killed.

Anyway, the reason I am bringing this up is obviously due to the present situation in Japan. I can’t stop thinking about those people who stayed behind in the nuclear plants. I guess it was the “logical” thing to do. Would you do it? Would you die to save others? I wish I could say yes—and maybe I would, if I had less time to think about it, say, jump in front of a car to save a child—but I don’t think I would be willing to undergo slow death from radiation poisoning. It amazes me and horrifies me at the same time.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t really know.  I can say yes all I want, but until a situation arises that could require self-sacrifice on my part, I really can’t say.  Like you, George, I’m amazed and horrified by the idea at the same time.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And what makes you think Reagan wasn’t the devil?  snake LOL

It’s an interesting question, George, but I don’t think any of us can answer it hypothetically.  Only at the moment we are faced with the decision would we decide instantly based on our prior mental history, but without any analysis.

One would think it would be an easier decision based on my advanced age, but I can envision cases where I would sacrifice unhesitatingly, and other situations where I woud say, “Screw you,” and run like hell.  smile  {And I’m not even quite sure what those situations would be.}

And remember, Spock wasn’t all that altruistic because he placed his essence inside McCoy’s brain, and through a series of accidents that could only happen in a fictional movie, was reborn.  So, while he appeared to die, he was really allowed to start again as a much younger person.

Occam

[ Edited: 15 March 2011 03:11 PM by Occam. ]
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Posted: 15 March 2011 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I guess Spock “died” for others just like Jesus did, right?  grin

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Posted: 15 March 2011 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t think Reagan was the Devil. He may have been wrong on a lot of issues…the same can certainly be said of his opponants…but he wasn’t the Devil.

More to the point, and this doesn’t appear to be well known, is that when it came to nuclear weapons, the man was actually an abolitionist. When everybody else thought these things were just too good for words, he wanted them eliminated, gone, non-existant. He didn’t get what he wanted in the end, but much of the effort towards nuclear disarmament and even the elimination of entire classes of weapons started with Reagan and his counterpart, Gorbachev.

This wasn’t because there was…or was not…anything especially virtuous about their characters or political views. They were very much creatures of their respective belief systems with all the baggage which went with it. However, both saw the direction in which everything was heading, and it scared the hell out of them they way nothing else did.

As to whether or not I would die for others, I think I can safely say that I would if the cause was just and right. I served in the Navy for 20 years with the expecation and understanding that I might just have to do exactly that, and I understand the people who do this as well as their level of committment.

I’ve known some who wouldn’t and never really understood this when they signed up to serve. Such people were not missed by the rest of us when they left at the end of their terms.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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if it’s a Nobel cause ,Yes

Ex: Dying for god
smile

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Posted: 16 March 2011 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’d have to be pretty convinced my death would save others. I would be more than useless in a nuclear plant meltdown, and I have trouble conceiving of how else I would ever be that important. And, to be honest, how much pain would be involved would also be important. I’d feel more inclined if death was instant.

I would for my daughter, in a heartbeat.

C

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Posted: 16 March 2011 01:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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George - 15 March 2011 05:52 PM

I guess Spock “died” for others just like Jesus did, right?  grin

Yes, and was properly resurrected.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m a Trekkie, so I have to point out that if you follow the story in The Search for Spock, the “resurrection” wasn’t at all certain.  And he couldn’t have known that McCoy would happen to come by and try to stop him.  So depositing the katra was like a “it’s a long shot, but there’s nothing to lose by trying”.

But… yeah I firmly believe that the good of the many outweighs the good of the one.  I’d offer my life for someone else’s in a heartbeat.  But maybe that’s my low self-esteem talking.  :(

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Posted: 16 March 2011 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The Japanese have probably the most collectivist, selfless culture in the entire world.  If these workers are not willing to die for others then I don’t see how people in other cultures would.  I seem to recall many workers at Chernobyl allowing themselves to be radiated in order to control the disaster.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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i think we would die for others maybe if it was for a good reason human emotion throws all logic out the window which is why we would die for the people we love

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Posted: 16 March 2011 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Spock thought it was logical to die for others.  If the audience and the writers did not agree that this was logical then the script would not have been written that way.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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but then you have to ask yourself what is logic? taking all the variables into consideration to produce the outcome that is best for the majourity, so it is illogical to die for others unless you have a reason

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for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction- sir isaac newton

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Posted: 16 March 2011 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I don’t know. I’d like to think that I would; and as others have said for the ‘right cause’.

I imagine that those who do sacrifice themselves for the many, very rarely think deeply about their actions. I’m of the mind that they just react.

OT: I just finished an interesting sci-fi book titled Old Man’s War in which the basic premise is that when folks reach 75 years of age they enlist in the Colonial Defense Forces because the CDF has the technology to rejuvenate the body. I won’t say any more on the off chance someone wants to read it.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 16 March 2011 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I imagine that those who do sacrifice themselves for the many, very rarely think deeply about their actions. I’m of the mind that they just react.

For whatever it may be worth, one sees that a lot among those people who “won” awards for valour in combat and were lucky enough to survive to recieve their medals. They didn’t see anything special about what they did, and we’re just interested in doing their jobs and getting their troops out of a very bad situation alive.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 16 March 2011 09:21 PM

I imagine that those who do sacrifice themselves for the many, very rarely think deeply about their actions. I’m of the mind that they just react.

For whatever it may be worth, one sees that a lot among those people who “won” awards for valour in combat and were lucky enough to survive to recieve their medals. They didn’t see anything special about what they did, and we’re just interested in doing their jobs and getting their troops out of a very bad situation alive.

I think that is valuable information. Thank you for sharing that.

Take care,

Derek

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